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28 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Solid facts about Not So "Smart Growth"
This book is a must read for anyone concerned about regulatory takings, private property rights, and social engineering. Mr. Cox provides hard data to answer the "but it looks pretty" arguments that plague current planning and zoning philosophy. I discovered his book while looking for answers after a proposed "Smart Growth" zoning ordinance in my Township threated my...
Published on March 31, 2009 by KAM

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9 of 18 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars What Cox does not see.. affordability and choice
Its really unfortunate that people are looking to this book for advice.

Cox fails to see that the quality of life in the suburbs is only good for those that can afford it. The middle, lower-middle, and lower class struggle to make ends meet in the suburbs. Ask any real estate investor and they will tell you that the majority of the cheapest homes are the ones...
Published 23 months ago by J. Henry


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9 of 18 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars What Cox does not see.. affordability and choice, February 1, 2013
This review is from: War on the Dream: How Anti-Sprawl Policy Threatens the Quality of Life (Paperback)
Its really unfortunate that people are looking to this book for advice.

Cox fails to see that the quality of life in the suburbs is only good for those that can afford it. The middle, lower-middle, and lower class struggle to make ends meet in the suburbs. Ask any real estate investor and they will tell you that the majority of the cheapest homes are the ones farthest from common daily amenities like schools, work, and places to shop.

This means that those looking to buy a home, and are not well off financially, or maybe they just started a family and money is tight, they will buy up the ones farthest away from those amenities. Sometimes it is hardly their choice whether they want to live that far away or not, it is only what they can "afford." The problem with this is that because they live so far from amenities, they must drive to get to them. This means more money from their pocket. The costs associated with owning a vehicle, or multiple vehicles, is only continuing to rise. We all can see the gas prices. We all know they have risen steadily for years. The price of gas coupled with maintenance, registrations, emissions, car accidents, and insurance add up very quickly.

Those of us that advocate for smart growth, new urbanism, neo-urbanism, whatever you want to call it, care about people. I truly care for others and I can see the suburban American dream is not for everyone. It used to be more affordable in the 70's and 80's. Now, many people struggle to have a life beyond paying for their car and a home. Also, our policies do not dictate removal of current suburbs, they will always exist. Those that can, and choose, to afford it can do so freely.

We encourage choice and opportunity.
We simply want to build more homes closer to employment centers, closer to schools..
We want to see more buses, bike lanes and commuter rail, so that everyone can be mobile and can save money that would normally be spent on gas and time that would normally be spent sitting in traffic, so that..

...they can improve their quality of life.

Cox fails to see that it is not affordable for many citizens and the suburban American dream is not always a choice, sometimes it is a trap.

Please read my comments and consider them before picking up this book. Please.

I come from a upper-middle class family. I grew up in the suburbs.
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28 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Solid facts about Not So "Smart Growth", March 31, 2009
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KAM (TC, Michigan) - See all my reviews
This review is from: War on the Dream: How Anti-Sprawl Policy Threatens the Quality of Life (Paperback)
This book is a must read for anyone concerned about regulatory takings, private property rights, and social engineering. Mr. Cox provides hard data to answer the "but it looks pretty" arguments that plague current planning and zoning philosophy. I discovered his book while looking for answers after a proposed "Smart Growth" zoning ordinance in my Township threated my property thru regulatory takings. Mr. Cox's focus is on the true costs and economic realities too often ignored when our elected officials blindly follow the latest fads. The text is information heavy but definately worth the time and energy. It's like a crash corse in history, economics, social engineering, as it pertains to planning and zoning. This book will make you proud of where we come from and concerned about where we are going.
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30 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I've actually read the book..., October 17, 2010
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pd park (SF Bay Area) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: War on the Dream: How Anti-Sprawl Policy Threatens the Quality of Life (Paperback)
Unlike the one star reviewers, I've actually read the book - the author addresses the so-called concerns of these "reviewers".

Get the book and read it for yourself, don't blindly follow the eco-party line of the one-star reviewers of this book. Freedom leads to greater prosperity which leads to a better environment - period. "Sprawl" just means the neo-utopian planners don't get to tell us where to live. "Sprawl" means low income housing that people actually want to live in instead of the government created low-income crack house neighborhoods no one wants to live in.

My NIMBY neighbors shot down a housing development near where I live. Their desire for a nice view of open space near their home is more important than the private property rights of the owners of that open space who want to develop it, and more important than the young couple who work two jobs each in the service sector, probably cleaning the offices and/or houses of those who just denied them a home in the town where they work. Their commute, btw,is on a dangerous one-lane (in each direction, of course), high-traffic road that can't be widened because of eco-fanatics that require endless multi-million dollar enviro studies and unions that require wages, vacations, and pensions none of us will ever see in the private sector for similar jobs/skills.

It is not the American dream these proponents of central planning (didn't they get the memo: socialism failed) are crushing, but the universal dream of freedom. The freedom of a low-income family to afford a decent house in a safe neighborhood. They should be ashamed of themselves and we should not fall for their techno-eco-babble justifications for restricting freedom.
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38 of 74 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Flawed and wrong, December 1, 2009
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This review is from: War on the Dream: How Anti-Sprawl Policy Threatens the Quality of Life (Paperback)
As a planning student, I read this book to get a different view from the mainstream on how to meet the housing demands of the world's growing population. While the book is well researched, I generally found his arguments to be weak and/or flawed on many levels. The author advocates unending urban sprawl, while it is easy to demonstrate that unending sprawl is socially, economically and environmentally unsustainable. He also tries to develop an unhelpful fear campaign about higher density living. This book deserves to go in the recycle bin.
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33 of 69 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A Bygone Era, February 4, 2009
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This review is from: War on the Dream: How Anti-Sprawl Policy Threatens the Quality of Life (Paperback)
Cox isn't necessarily crazy, but he is most certainly stuck in the thinking of the 1950s. While it might be nice if we could all have an acre and a McMansion, it's just not possible given our limited resources. How is he going to control population growth? How is he going to provide food for all these McMansions if we are putting houses over agricultural land?

And most importantly, what of the environmental toll these McMansions take? How do all these people get to work every day? And where do we get the oil for that.

Cox's tome is a product of the thinking of yesteryear, and should probably be left there.
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14 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must read, February 20, 2007
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This review is from: War on the Dream: How Anti-Sprawl Policy Threatens the Quality of Life (Paperback)
Cuts through all the BS surrounding new-urbanism and looks at the hard facts concerning subarnization. The conclusion: the car ain't so bad after all...
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War on the Dream: How Anti-Sprawl Policy Threatens the Quality of Life
War on the Dream: How Anti-Sprawl Policy Threatens the Quality of Life by W. Michael Cox (Paperback - November 3, 2006)
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